Point of View and Theme in Sonny’s Blues Essay

Point of View and Theme in Sonny’s Blues Essay

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In James Baldwin’s short story, Sonny’s Blues, he describes a story of pain and prejudice. The theme of suffering makes the readers relate to it. The story is told in the realistic point of view of Sonny’s brother. The setting and time of the story also has great significance to the story. From beginning to end, the story is well developed.
The short story is narrated by Sonny’s older brother. He is a school a responsible school teacher, with a family of his own. The story begins by the brother, whose name is unidentified in the story, finding out that his young brother Sonny got arrested for possession and selling drugs, specifically heroin. He is the type of older brother that is protective yet he is angry for what his brother has done. He admits that he is scared for Sonny. He knew something was wrong but chose to turn a blind eye to it, because he didn’t want to believe it. “I had my suspicions but I didn’t name them, I kept putting them away.” If he had figured it out he may have been able to stop Sonny from getting in trouble before it was too late. He didn’t write Sonny until his daughter passed and then after they kept in touch regularly.
If the story was not told in the point of view of Sonny’s brother, it would have been a completely different story. If it had been told by Sonny’s perspective the readers would know Sonny’s pain more greatly. The way Baldwin chose to have the point of view in the brother’s perspective was a well thought out choice, but would the story have had more depth if it was told in Sonny’s point? Its excellent that we get to see how Sonny’s brother felt about the situation and how he dealt with the fact that his brother got himself into trouble, but it would also be good to have had Sonn...

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...by a car. Another theme may be racism because the mother tells the story of her husband’s brother getting killed by a bunch of white man that were drunk and just wanted to have some fun. The fun ultimately led to the death of a human. The significance of suffering and racism in this story is that throughout Sonny’s life their family has had struggles which caused Sonny to choose wrong paths in life.
Baldwin executed a well written short story by making the point of view through the eyes of Sonny’s brother. The setting made the story realistic, and the themes were powerful and influential. Though Sonny had struggles in life along with the rest of the family, he is able to redeem himself through his music. “Sonny’s fingers filled the air with life, his life. But that life contained so many others. And Sonny went all the way back, he really began to make it his.”

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